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Learning English - Words in the News
 
10 August, 2005 - Published 11:31 GMT
 
Climber rescued from dangerous peak
 
Slovenian climber, Tomaz Humar
Slovenian climber, Tomaz Humar

Pakistani military helicopters have rescued a climber trapped since last Thursday on one of the world's highest peaks. Tomaz Humar, who is Slovenian, was trying to climb Nanga Parbat in Pakistan when he ran into difficulties. This report from Roland Buerk.

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Tomaz Humar had spent nearly a week huddled on a ledge six-thousand metres up Nanga Parbat, the world's ninth highest mountain. He was held in his precarious position by ice screws and ropes. The temperature inside his sleeping bag was minus five degrees Celsius. Repeated attempts to rescue him failed because of snow storms and avalanches but on Wednesday two Pakistani military helicopters managed to fly close enough to his perch for one of them to dangle a line to him.

There was nearly a disaster as the Slovenian climber was unable to detach the ropes holding him to the mountain. Luckily they snapped as the helicopter flew away from the peak and after thirteen minutes Tomaz Humar was back in base camp. He is said to be suffering from the effects of cold and hunger but otherwise he's well.

Tomaz Humar is famous for his solo assaults on some of the world's toughest climbs. It was the second time he had tried to get up the Rupal face of Nanga Parbat. His earlier attempt also failed because of bad weather.

Listen to the words

huddled
holding his arms and legs close together, probably because of the cold or lack of space

precarious
unsafe

ice screws
hollow, pointed pieces of metal like nails that use grooves to attach onto ice

avalanches
large amounts of snow and ice falling down the mountain

perch
a place high up

to dangle
to hold something so that it hangs loosely

there was nearly a disaster
there was almost a very bad occurrence

unable to detach
not able to separate or take off

suffering from the effects of
harmed as a result of

his earlier attempt also failed
the last time he tried he was also not successful

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